8 Toxic Phrases to Never Say to Yourself (or Others)

As we enter the second month of this 2016 year, it’s easy to get down on ourselves if we haven’t yet gotten started on our resolutions, goals or dreams. Before you know it, we’re beating ourselves up, getting down on ourselves, and becoming our worst enemy. Unfortunately, once we enter this cycle of “self-bullying”, it’s very difficult to break these painful patterns that prevent us from heading in the direction we truly desire to go. Too often, we don’t realize that the phrases we silently say to ourselves may be actually hurting us to the point of self-sabotage. We may even tell ourselves that these self-defeating phrases are “no big deal”, or that “everybody talks like this to themselves”. But, the truth is, the truly successful, truly happy, and truly effective individuals in our society do everything in their power to overcome their demons by making a conscientious effort to replace “stinking thinking” with more purposeful phrases that serve them instead of cost them their dreams, visions and plans. In today’s blog post, we’re outlining some common phrases that may seem benign but that could actually keep you from realizing your actual potential. As Ice Cube so poignantly put it: Check Yo’self Before You Wreck Yourself. 😉


  1. I suck/You suck (or the very close alternative: I’m stupid/you’re stupid).  We’re here to be human. We’re here to make mistakes and overcome them. However, this doesn’t mean we’re stupid just because we didn’t see the path from the outset. Saying you’re stupid (or calling somebody else stupid) will never solve the problem; rather, it will create additional unnecessary challenges and obstacles. Start saying, “I can figure this out”,” I will work on this” or ” I’m excited by this challenge” and notice how much faster you overcome challenges versus when you call yourself stupid.
  2. You’ll never. Imagine Richard Branson saying to himself, “You’ll never be able to accomplish this”.  If such were the case, many of us would not be flying Virgin Atlantic Airways today.  Our biggest obstacle is often our mind and perspective. If we can get out of our own way and stop saying things such as “You’ll never do this/that”, we’ll be surprised how much faster we can achieve our goals and dreams.
  3. It’s impossible (that’s impossible). See #2.
  4. Why bother? Why not bother?  What’s the harm in bothering? What do you stand to lose in giving it a go? See #2 and #3 again :-)
  5. Are you crazy? Who isn’t? Let’s face it: crazy is exciting. Crazy is pretty cool. Crazy gets remembered. Besides, who decides who or what is crazy? The craziest methods have ended up being the highly-regarded, talked about, repeated methods so invite in a little bit of that crazy for a change.
  6. I’m gonna fail (you’re gonna fail). I hate the word “fail”. Personally, I don’t think there’s such a thing. My biggest “failures” ended up being my biggest successes because they taught me exactly what I needed to modify or change in order to achieve my dreams and goals. I pretty much sum it up this way: You’re living, so in my opinion, you’re succeeding because living takes a lot of guts. If you’re living, it’s impossible to fail.
  7. Just…Only…: The words “just” and “only” put HUGE limits on positive thinking and positive doing. The words “just” and “only” also imply there is only one solution or only one option—using these phrases tend to pigeon-hole you. As an alternative, try asking yourself phrases like: What are my ideal solutions here? Which options would I love to see happen? How many perspectives can I see here?
  8. Don’t you think you should…? We all get a case of the “shoulds” every now and again, myself included. The “shoulds” are very deceiving as they often keep us stuck in mindless productivity rather than purpose. The ‘shoulds’ often make us feel as though we are “doing” really big work but rather they are causing us to avoid what we’re really passionate about. Instead of asking, “Don’t you think you should”, try these alternative phrases: What am I most passionate about? What brings me the most excitement? How can I ideally live out my passion each day? Notice the difference in your answers. Check-in with how you feel when you ask these alternative questions versus, “Don’t you think you should?”

Thanks for tuning-in. I hope these tips are helpful and get you on track to living out your Extreme Dream. Feel free to share this post with your loved ones and re-read it anytime to help you stay on track. For additional tips, resources, inspirational quotes and more, check out our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.


Here’s to your Extreme Dream Success,


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About Laurie Santos

Owner and Founder of Extreme Dream Training. Certified Life Coach, Master Reiki Healer, Certified Law of Attraction Expert, Certified EFQM Assessor. Surfer, expat, lover of animals, poetry and silence.


  1. John Schmitt says:


    You are so right and you are the best. Winners remove all of that language from their vocabulary. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Laurie Santos says:

      You are most welcome for the reminder, John and thank you for tuning in often to the Extreme Dream Training blog; I couldn’t do it without your support. I respect and value your feedback; it’s an honor to read your comments. Thank you again and sending hugs. Yours in Extreme Dream Success, Laurie

  2. for 24 hours says:

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    The article haas really peaked my interest. I
    will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once
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    • Laurie Santos says:

      Thank you Victor for your feedback and sincerity. I’m very happy to read that the content has peaked your interest and you found the info helpful and useful. I’d love to know if there are any topics you’d like to read here at the Extreme Dream Training blog and I’d be more than happy to post for you on those requested topics. Thank you for opting into the RSS feed! You’re a star! I look forward to hearing back regarding if there’s anything else I can assist with. In the meantime, what’s your dream? Do share! Looking forward to hearing back. Cheers! Your partner in Extreme Dream Success, Laurie

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